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Old 09-01-2009, 02:30 PM   #1
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Talking Fresh XP Pro - Slowness

I work for a Community MAR (Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher). We recently built a system with an Asus P4B266C motherboard that had major issues running Windows XP Professional (we buy licenses of XP Pro as a part of the Community MAR program).

Typically you'd expect slowness from spyware/viruses or a bad hard drive, so before these are commented on I'll note that:

a) Legitimate license, fresh install of Windows XP.
b) We used manufacturers tools to test the hard drive in the system.
c) We replaced the hard drive even though it tested okay, with the same results.
d) We checked the power supply with a tester that has a LED display that not only shows voltages, but fluctuations in voltages.
e) We tested the memory with Memtest86+ and it passed 42 times (we let it run overnight) with no errors.
f) We replaced the power supply anyway
g) We even replaced the CPU in case it was flaky
h) The system didn't appear to be overheating, we let it sit overnight and the CPU didn't go higher than 45 degrees celcius.
i) We replaced a few bad capacitors on the motherboard with new capacitors.

Rather than go any further we decided to simply replace the system with something similar (the advantage of being a community computer refurbisher - the license is reasonable enough that we can do it).

I was just wondering if anyone had experienced fresh installs of Windows XP (legal) that ran slow as molasses? Sorry I don't have the Everest settings, the system is long gone, but the problem still bothers me because it's about the only time we haven't been able to solve an issue like this.

I suspect that because we had to replace some bad caps that there was a trace or something else that was bad which we couldn't test for.

That leads me to another question. I'm wondering if others are using software to test motherboards (preferably software that doesn't rely on Windows, e.g. bootable).

Cheers and thanks a mint!
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fresh XP Pro - Slowness

What are the computers specs?
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fresh XP Pro - Slowness

Was the BIOS ever reflashed on this one?
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fresh XP Pro - Slowness

^forgot about that haha
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fresh XP Pro - Slowness

Quote:
Originally Posted by cboucher View Post
Was the BIOS ever reflashed on this one?
Yes, that was one of the things we noticed, the BIOS was from 2000, and that BIOS didn't have 48-bit IDE support, so we reflashed it with the latest BIOS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemp View Post
What are the computers specs?
Sorry the system was scrapped, but I do remember that originally it had:

Intel (Socket 478 I believe) 1600MHz CPU (which we changed to a 2GHz CPU after we flashed the BIOS with an update).

512MB DDR PC2100 (slow yes, but the motherboard manual recommends it).

The hard drive was originally a Maxtor 40GB HD with UltraDMA/133. (Yes we used an 80 wire cable and it was the only drive set to master on the cable). We later replaced this drive even though it tested okay using Maxtor's tools (both short and long tests) just to see if the mfg test failed to detect something.

We're talking about the PC loading so slow that a Pentium III 600MHz with 256MB of RAM could have beat it loading Windows XP... it was dreadfully slow. It was just bizarre....
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Fresh XP Pro - Slowness

So the computer is sluggish by the standards of how it is and you reflashed the bios. I am at a lost of what is wrong =[
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: Fresh XP Pro - Slowness

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemp View Post
So the computer is sluggish by the standards of how it is and you reflashed the bios. I am at a lost of what is wrong =[
If you check the BIOS updates for this particular model of motherboard it appears there is an issue with IDE support in early versions of the BIOS (which this was running). We flashed the BIOS thinking that the problem may be been due to the IDE channel not operating at full capacity. The slowness existed before and after flashing the BIOS. Yes, I'd agree 1600MHz is slow compared to most of the systems ComputerForums members are running, but we're talking about a system that was slow even compared to a PIII 1GHz.

When Windows loaded the progress bar will slow to a stop, almost as if the computer was detecting new hardware each time. We rebooted the system many times and all drivers were installed and running (we pulled them directly from Asus). Just to be sure the install wasn't corrupted we reinstalled when we put the other hard drive in and experienced the same results.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fresh XP Pro - Slowness

what rpm is the hdd at?
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Fresh XP Pro - Slowness

For future reference, if you're using a single IDE harddrive setup, put it to Cable Select. Certain Southbridges read it better and faster when it's on CS. A fine example of that is my board: The 680i MCP had a very hard time even finding my harddrive for boot when it was set as Master; Evga told me to set it to CS and it loaded normally.
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